Portraits of DeAsia Kelly and Jesmaine Barnett

DeAsia Kelly of Moss Point and Jesmaine Barnett of Gautier, both students in the Process Operations Technology program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus, received Aspen Scholarships for their sophomore year.  Each student received more than $4,000 in scholarship funds.

Last fall, the Process Operations Technology program was named a winner of the Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM Award by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation.  That award has provided scholarship funds for MGCCC Process Operations Technology students, and after a virtual site visit in November, Aspen awarded additional dollars that could be used for student scholarships this spring.

Both Kelly and Barnett are very appreciative of the opportunities available to them through the scholarship.  Kelly plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in electrical engineering after graduation from MGCCC.

“I would like to say how grateful I am to receive this scholarship,” Kelly said.  “I’m beginning spring 2021 as a sophomore, so the financial assistance is appreciated so much.”

Barnett said he looks forward to beginning his career after graduation next May, hoping to get a job in a local industry.

“The scholarship will help me continue training in the field I love for my second year,” he said. “I really enjoy our Process Ops classes, especially the hands-on experience we gain.  I feel like I am getting excellent preparation for my career and look forward to my next year in the program and beginning a great job with a local business afterward.”

The Aspen Community Foundation directs several scholarship funds that help students reach their postsecondary education goals and provide opportunities for experiential learning. These funds support students from diverse backgrounds and with varying college and career paths, including students pursuing technical certification or apprenticeship training.

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